When a major city floods, there can be widespread power outages, businesses shut down, and lives at risk. So there’s an urgent need for coastal cities to prepare for more severe sea level rise, high tides, and extreme weather due to climate change.

Batten: “There is a whole movement to reassess how cities are fortified to protect themselves at the shoreline level.”

That’s John Batten, the global water and cities director for Dutch engineering company, Arcadis. His firm is helping cities like New York and New Orleans create more resilient buildings, and better manage floodwater with dikes and flood gates.

Batten says that as a Dutch company, Arcadis is uniquely situated to work on this issue.

Batten: “It’s in our DNA. We are about risk management and reducing vulnerability as it relates to living with water because the Netherlands has been doing that for thousands of years.”

”Coastal Click To Tweet

And as more coastal cities are threatened by rising seas, Arcadis is in high demand. The company’s annual sales doubled to two billion dollars between 2007 and 2014. And business for Arcadis and other similar firms is expected to continue booming, since there is so much work needed around the world.

Reporting credit: Colleen Pellissier/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo: Arcadis video screenshot.

More Resources
Arcadis website (News release)
Engineering firm sees climate change opportunity in cities
Top 20 cities with billions at risk from climate change

Sara Peach

Sara Peach is the Senior Editor of Yale Climate Connections. She is an environmental journalist whose work has appeared in National Geographic, Scientific American, Environmental Health News, Grist, and...